Saturday, September 21, 2013

CA History - Rain and a Wet Mill Tour

It started to drizzle the evening we arrived, nothing serious and we continued to read outside. But the rain picked up during the night and continued into the morning as we had breakfast and made plans for the day. It wasn't unpleasant and the kids were having fun with their friends, who had arrived late the previous evening.

We all took off, giggling when the rain increased, on a fun hike, past a pioneer cemetery with graves dating to the mid-1800s (the kids believe they unearthed a grave robber mystery - too much Egypt studies?) and through gorgeous and dripping wet oak and manzanita woods. We arrived at the Bale Grist Mill, named for John Bale but run for more than half a century by his widow, Maria. We learned a ton - that grist means grain, that the restored mill continues to run exclusively by the power of water, and the meaning behind a number of common terms (putting your nose to the grindstone, among them).

The only drawback to the tour was the fact that we were literally soaked to the skin and not moving; the heavy and clinging clothes were uncomfortable and we were getting cold. Just as I was imagining bailing on the rest of the trip and tolerating a three-hour trip home in my dripping wet jeans, the tour ended, the sun came out, and when we got back to the campsite, even the tents were dry. Gorgeous day, and lots of fascinating California history to complement our studies this year, too.

Just the tent is soaked; the girl, not quite yet.
Past the pioneer cemetery, beautifully unmaintained.
Checking out the exterior of the mill. Inside
and out, it as gorgeous.
Getting to try out a grinding device
Starting to look (and feel) miserably wet and cold.
But we dried quickly as we walked
alongside vineyards and back to the
campsite.  Hurrah!

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